When most people think of visiting the DMV, or any motor vehicle office in the U.S., they assume they will probably face a fairly time intensive experience. But public perception is starting to change as departments like the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (AZ MVD) continue to find ways to improve the customer experience and reduce wait times, lines and paper usage.
The AZ MVD — which has worked with Kyndryl to build more customer-centric motor vehicle services — is transforming the in-person experience with modern technologies that speed up routine transactions.
Starting with the AZ MVD location in Scottsdale, residents can now use their mobile driver’s license to securely complete in-person transactions, thanks to the digital ID acceptance solution deployed by Kyndryl and mobile biometric and digital authentication solutions provider Credence ID.
“The introduction and adoption of mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) in Arizona is a significant step forward in the way U.S. citizens carry and present identification,” said Brian Shell, Senior Partner at Kyndryl, who has long supported AZ MVD’s digital transformation efforts, including its cloud strategy and disaster recovery and cyber resiliency infrastructure across the state. “However, while digital IDs are more convenient and secure, physical IDs are still widely required as most establishments don’t have the needed infrastructure to accept and verify mobile driver’s licenses. By rolling out experiences for residents to use their digital IDs, we’re moving the needle toward broader adoption — building trust and confidence in the technology, while also helping streamline once cumbersome transactions.”
Here, Shell talks about the benefits — and challenges — of digital IDs.
How is digital ID acceptance improving the customer experience at the MVD in Arizona?
There are two new implementations we’re rolling out right now at the MVD offices in Arizona: One is a new streamlined check-in process. With a tap or scan of your digital ID at the check-in kiosk, residents are immediately provided their appointment details and directed where to go next within the MVD to be serviced as efficiently as possible. All of this is underpinned by an application created by our joint Kyndryl and Motor Vehicle Modernization team at MVD that integrates with Credence ID’s digital ID reader.
The other is a new electronic car title transfer station, which is set up in a similar fashion but with two small kiosks with digital ID verifiers. With minimal keystrokes, residents can quickly complete the title transfer by simply tapping the digital ID reader to send and receive the vehicle’s title. Each transaction uses international standards (ISO1803-5) for encrypted data exchange and the native biometric authentication to share mobile driver’s license information — so residents can have peace of mind that their transaction data is safe and secure.
Arizona was quick to embrace digital IDs and other technology. What are some key learnings for other states?
One of the early learnings that Arizona found is that issuing a digital driver’s license is great, but you need to offer a place for people to use it. Without opportunities to use it, residents are unfamiliar with how it works, which can lead to distrust in its usability and security. And this makes it increasingly difficult to encourage businesses or other entities to adopt the technology. That’s why Arizona has decided to be a leader in both spaces. They’ve provided access to digital IDs, and now have their sights set on expanding ways residents can use them — starting with this technology we’re deploying at the AZ MVD.
What are the benefits and challenges of a digital ID future?
One challenge is in developing trusted and reliable ecosystems. A shift toward digital IDs is not a straight line. As the technology advances, so does the need for standards and checks and balances to ensure all parts of the ecosystem are compliant. So, everything from the mobile wallet that contains the digital ID to the device that authenticates the user’s identity — it all needs to be compliant. That’s part of the reason our team at Kyndryl is so valuable, as we help navigate the oftentimes murky waters to ensure compliance across the board.
The benefits are largely around data privacy and data sovereignty. For example, with my digital ID, I control the information I choose to disclose with each transaction. In most instances, personal information such as weight, height and even address aren’t necessary to share, and digital IDs allow you to disclose only essential information. The driver's license information is stored in the secure hardware of the user’s phone and is biometrically locked, providing an added layer of security and self-sovereignty. If I left my physical driver’s license on a bus, someone could take it and use it immediately. But if I left my phone on the bus, someone would have to pass encrypted biometric security to access my license — all before I call the MVD to report it lost or use another device to wipe my license from the lost phone.
This technology could have broad applications. How can it be expanded and used for other purposes?
There are all kinds of use cases, from self-checkouts at grocery stores to car rental stations or even food delivery services for products meant for people 21 and older. Virtually anywhere your identification needs to be verified, there could be potential to integrate digital ID authentication.
How is this work with Credence ID different from what’s already available to Arizona residents using digital IDs?
While digital IDs were first rolled out in Arizona in 2021, physical IDs are still widely used and required since most commercial establishments don’t yet have the right infrastructure to scan digital IDs for verification The first big expansion came last year as the Transportation Security Administration collaborated with the State of Arizona to roll out mobile IDs that can be tapped at a custom digital ID reader as part of airport security screening. Since then, Credence ID has gone on to develop a commercially viable and compact Digital ID verification solution for expanding the ecosystem to everyday use cases. Our work with Credence ID brings and validates another use case to life by now integrating digital ID acceptance readers into the Arizona MVD experience.